Heroic Story from World War II Inspires & Humbles

John Lund, President, America First Credit Union

By John B. Lund, President and Chief Executive Officer

One of the things I appreciate most about America First is the people with whom I am privileged to work, such as Thayne Shaffer, our senior vice president & controller. Thayne shared with us the story of his grandfather, who served during World War II as an engineer in a B-24 bomber. It is a heartwarming description of service, teamwork and patriotism that his family has kindly allowed me to relate to the membership.

Ray Albiston was born on January 10, 1913 in Whiskey Gap, Alberta, Canada. In his youth, Ray worked as a ranch hand on both sides of the border. He eventually moved to Elko, Nevada, where he became an American citizen and met & married his sweetheart, June Nielson.

He entered the Army Air Corps on December 28, 1942 and was trained as a flight engineer on the B-24 Liberator. Thereafter, Staff Sergeant Ray Albiston was deployed to El Aouina, Tunisia with the 15th Air Force, 450 Bombardment Group, nicknamed the Cottontails. He flew in 37 missions over some of the most dangerous and challenging air space in the European Theater. Thirteen were considered so perilous that he and his crew received double credit toward their 50 required missions.

On June 24, 1944, Ray and his crew found themselves facing heavy opposition over Germany’s strategic and heavily defended oil installations in Ploiesti, Romania for the second time. About this conflict, his Silver Star citation reads, in part: “…approaching the target, their formation was attacked by approximately 50 highly aggressive enemy fighters and their aircraft was severely damaged…systems were rendered inoperative and the waist gunner seriously wounded. Despite the crippled condition of their aircraft, displaying outstanding courage and teamwork, they battled against overwhelming odds, bringing their ship through for a highly successful bombing run.” Of the 39 planes in his group, 10 were lost and others went missing. On August 9, 1944, he and his fellow crew members received the Silver Star. Ray went on to fly in 27 more missions.

Ray’s magical mission number of 50 was eventually reached and, on October 22, 1944, June received the following via Western Union telegraph: ARRIVED IN U S A, FEELING FINE, HOME SOON, LOVE TO ALL, RAY.

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Security Update: Stay Alert for Identity Thieves

Cyber criminals are always busy in the summer months, attacking consumers around the globe.

According to experts, no one is immune to this phenomenon and, while we are all vulnerable, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk:

• Be overly careful about clicking on links and attachments you didn’t request and/or don’t recognize.

• Limit the amount of sensitive data stored on your computer. For example, never put your Social Security Number on any device.

• Use free Online & Mobile Banking to monitor your transactions and take care of your personal finances.

• Don’t geotag photos on Facebook.

• Greatly restrict the personal information you post on any social media site.

You’re also welcome to visit us here for updates regarding how we are striving to provide you with enhanced protection.


America First Sizzles with Hot Loans, Cool Giveaways “Summer Better Than Others” Loan Campaign

Click-to-Tweet: @afcu offers hot rates and cool prizes during summer loan campaign. Members can enter to win prizes through Aug. 31!

Riverdale, Utah –  Summer is upon us and Utah’s largest credit union, America First Credit Union, is sizzling with low rates on auto, RV, mortgage and home equity loans and Visa credit cards during its “Summer Better Than Others” campaign of giveaways, running through Wednesday, August 31. Members can take advantage of loan opportunities, while also being entered to win a selection of prizes awarded each day of the promotion, to include loan payments, electronics, Disneyland vacations, and more.

Members can take advantage of low rates to make summer purchases, including RVs, automotive and home equity loans. Individuals are automatically entered to have loan payments made for a month, as well as to win a host of summer giveaways when they finance a new loan, use an America First credit card, become a member, follow America First on its social media platforms or enter via the online form on the America First website.

Prizes will be drawn daily and include Get Away Today Disneyland vacations, loan payments, BBQ grills, $300 Amazon and Wal-Mart gift cards and more.

Members can enter to win a selection of prizes via the America First Facebook page, as well as at

For more information, visit, America First Credit Union on Facebook, Twitter, @AmericaFirst on Instagram and Pinterest.


America First Credit Union Opening New Branch Location in West Point Smith’s Marketplace

Riverdale, UTAH Utah’s largest credit union, America First Credit Union, joins in the growth in West Point City with the opening of its newest branch location on Wednesday, June 8 inside Smith’s Marketplace at 217 North 2000 West  North in West Point, Utah. As part of the first commercial retail center in the city, the Smith’s Marketplace will anchor a 19.4 acre commercial development named “The Point,” paving the way for additional jobs in the community.

The branch location marks the fifth branch opening of 2016, on the heels of the Jeremy Ranch branch opening in Park City, Utah on May 31. America First has 117 branch locations serving Utah and Nevada.

Amanda Thornton will serve as branch manager of West Point Smith’s Marketplace. An employee of America First since 2006, Thornton worked her way up through various roles within the credit union, including lead teller, assistant manager, market assistant manager, then service center manager.

A grand opening celebration will be held the week of June 13 – 18. The West Point Smith’s Marketplace branch is located at 217 North 2000 West  North West Point City, Utah 84015. Branch hours are Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information, visit, America First Credit Union on Facebook, Twitter, @AmericaFirst on Instagram and Pinterest.


The Innovation Center is our New & Interactive Service Experience

John Lund, President, America First Credit Union

By John B. Lund, President and Chief Executive Officer

We’re excited to introduce our new Innovation Center, located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake’s City Creek destination. The America First Innovation Center will not function as a traditional branch; rather, it will be an engaging and collaborative hub, showcasing advanced technological solutions for multiple service channels. Members and consumers who wish to learn more about America First will have a greater voice in shaping their experience in the future.

Our partners in the project are industry leaders in financial services, providing the latest in cutting-edge tools. Examples include:

• Remote experts — Members can interact with trained staff regarding a wide range of products and services through enhanced 3D, face-to-face video conferencing.

• Self-serve tellers — These units can take deposits, facilitate withdrawals, print money orders & cashier’s checks, and can supplement or replace existing teller stations. They are ideal for members seeking the functionality of a teller with the ease and convenience of an ATM.

• Smart-touch tables — The devices will demonstrate our variety of apps and offer hands-on guidance for our suite of free Mobile Banking products. Members can also engage with 55-inch multi-touch monitors and 3D models to discover more about America First’s great offerings.

• Community Corner, with two 65-inch monitors displaying our extensive social, community, and educational involvement.

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Security Update: Let Us Know, Before You Go

It’s that time of year: family vacations, weekend excursions, maybe even the trip of a lifetime to Europe or Asia.

And there’s no better way to pay for these opportunities than with your America First Visa® credit and debit cards.

But before you leave, it’s important that you inform us you’re going to be traveling. Please call 1-800-999-3961 and we’ll take steps to ensure your security. Then you can simply relax and enjoy your journey!

Also, you can visit us here for further information about how we’re working to protect your accounts and information.


America First Credit Union Continues Second Quarter Growth with Opening of Jeremy Ranch Branch

Riverdale, UTAH – Utah’s largest credit union, America First Credit Union, continues its growth in second quarter 2016 with the opening of its newest branch location at 3151 W. Kilby Road. Serving members in Park City area and beyond, Jeremy Ranch welcomes members as it officially opens its doors today, Tuesday, May 31. Jeremy Ranch is the fourth America First branch to open thus far in 2016 for a total of 117 branch locations servicing Utah and Nevada.

The Jeremy Ranch branch will be led by Branch Manager, Nate Hathaway. A part of the credit union his entire life, Hathaway holds fond memories of sleeping in the manager’s office while his mother worked late shifts in the check processing department. Hired at age 16 as a student trainee, Hathaway was promoted throughout the ranks to lead teller, then loan officer. In July 2014, Hathaway was hired as a service center lead teller at the Centerville Pages Lane Branch, then in March 2015 was promoted to assistant branch manager of the Kaysville Bowman’s Branch.

There will be a grand opening celebration the week of June 6 – 11. The Jeremy Ranch  branch is located at 3151 W. Kilby Road, Jeremy Ranch, UT 84098. Branch hours are Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information, visit, America First Credit Union on Facebook, Twitter, @AmericaFirst on Instagram and Pinterest.


America First Credit Union Launches Innovation Center in Downtown Salt Lake City

Financial institution gives members a voice to shape the “branch of the future,” and the future of banking 

RIVERDALE, Utah – America First Credit Union, a leading member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution, will launch its newest venture, the America First Credit Union Innovation Center, located in the center of City Creek Center in Downtown Salt Lake City, Utah next month. The America First Innovation Center will not serve as a traditional branch, but a collaborative hub to showcase the latest innovative solutions and give members and consumers a greater voice in shaping how they want to be served in the future.  America First will test multiple channel experiences to gain real-time feedback and use this insight to implement experience enhancements across its member base and within its 116 branch locations.

Opening the Innovation Center in the City Creek Center is a strategic effort as City Creek welcomes visitors from all over the state and surrounding areas.  This will allow America First to gain a wide range of collaboration and further enhance ongoing experiences.

“This is a very exciting time for America First with the launch of our first ever Innovation Center,” said America First Credit Union President and CEO, John B. Lund. “We have maintained our position to bring relevant innovation to our members and provide the best experience possible.  This continues to propel us forward as a leader in this space.”

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America First Strolls in Support of 10th Anniversary of West Haven Elementary Cancer Walk

-Joined by the Utah Jazz dancers and Jazz Bear, the credit union encourages community and public to help meet $10,000 goal for 10th annual event May 20-

Riverdale, Utah – America First Credit Union will once again join in the cause to raise monies for the American Cancer Society alongside West Haven Elementary School during its 10th Annual Hawk Walk 7 a.m., Friday, May 20. Hosted by West Haven students, the mini Relay-for-Life raises funds for the American Cancer Society. Since its inception in 2007, the Hawk Walk has raised more than $47,000 for the American Cancer Society. As part of the decade-long celebratory milestone, West Haven students and teachers have embarked on a goal to raise $10,000 to donate to the cancer society.

In support of West Haven’s goal, America First will donate cookies, bottled water, a live DJ and $5 for every student walking from 7 to 8 a.m. The America First Credit Union Utah Jazz dancers and the Utah Jazz mascot, Jazz Bear will be in attendance to cheer on the walkers.

The annual event held in May is designed to encourage students and individuals to learn the principle of generosity. West Haven Elementary has continued to support the Hawk Walk by implementing donation programs across campus. Once a month, the school encourages students to participate in ‘wear a hat’ to school day, which allows them to get involved by donating $1 to the cause. Delivery and district workers are also invited to participate by donating $1 if they are wearing a hat on campus. So far this school year, West Haven has generated a total of $3,230 through this effort. The school did donate $1,030 of the money raised to the family of a student at the school who has cancer.

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Members Exercise their Democratic Credit Union Privileges

John Lund, President, America First Credit Union

By John B. Lund, President and Chief Executive Officer

For 77 years, America First members have voted to elect a volunteer Board of Directors to provide strategic and philosophical guidance that ensures our credit union’s safety, soundness, and ongoing ability to deliver financial value.

This democratic exercise takes place at our annual meeting, which was held April 19, 2016 in Ogden, Utah. Joining us were local officials, credit union & industry representatives, and community stakeholders.

Lyle Adams, Chair of the Board Elections Committee, oversaw the balloting, during which America First Directors Barney Chapman, Kenlon Reeve, and Michael Roden were elected to serve three-year terms.

The Board subsequently chose their leadership, with James Wendler taking the role of Chairman, Linda Carver being named Vice Chair, and Mr. Reeve filling the position of Secretary.

Our Board members give tremendously of their time and talents, serving without compensation, to benefit the organization. They are truly dedicated to improving the economic health of each and every member we are fortunate to have.

I would also like to express my gratitude to our volunteers on the Loan Review and Supervisory Committees. The Loan Review Committee meets with members who were initially denied financing. They work to resolve adverse credit situations and find solutions to challenges. The Supervisory Committee works with internal and external examiners to provide fiscal & regulatory review.

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